Sunday, 23 November 2008

Back to work

Easy week's finished, business as usual come tomorrow morning for another 3 weeks of heavy mileage.

Spent most of this week recovering from my hardest three weeks yet that finished last Sunday. Lots of steady pool work and stretching along with catching up on some needed sleep made for a fun week of light work.

Had a good day on Saturday, went up to Cypress mountain for a hike in the morning, about 13km, up in the clouds with awesome views and lots of snow to play in...

Really fun day out and it's nice to mix up the work a bit, lots of slipping and obstical jumping made it an all over body workout!

As you can see from the picutres the girls were leaving me in their dust...

and me looking a bit lost...

Rode with my cycling partner Denise again today, up Cypress mountain for the second day in a row. Snow at the top was fun to ride through but made the decent FREEZING. Proceeded to punture (her not me) about 20km from home going through both of our CO2 canisters in the process only for me to puncture 10km later...luckily right outside of a friendly bike store. A few muffled complaints later and I was on my way it covered in the tell tale sign of a grease.

24 days till I go back to Scotland for Christmas...

...heard it's a bit cold over there!


Sunday, 16 November 2008



just back from the pool and my first days racing in over 22 months. Was UBC's annual meet here at the University and I had 100m fly, 200m fly, 200m freestyle and 400m freestyle on my plate for the day.

Pretty anxious actually heading into this morning, didn't know what I would have forgotten and what I would have let slip over the last year and half. Racing in the pool is a different story completely to running/cycling races or triathlons. A triathlon is a long slog where tactics, energy conservation and serious endurance all come into play...a swim race however is an all out blast where the smaller things like your dive, turns and breathing are the things that win and lose you the race. This is what I was nervous about...would I have lost my edge in the water.

The day went really well though hitting times in all my races I didn't think I would be close to at this time of year. Picked up first place overall in all 4 races even the 100m fly which was only 1 heat after my 200m free.

100m fly : 1.03.80

200m fly : 2.18.14

200m f/c : 2.01.60

400m f/c : 4.16.21 (59/2.04/3.11/4.16)

Great to get back into the pool and race some fast guys in a pretty relaxed meet. Some of those times are not too far off what I was hitting right before I stopped (that said my motivation wasn't at it's highest during that point of my swimming career!) and will definitely be working hard in the pool through 2009 to get those times further down near where they should be. Think you'll be seeing me back in the pool more often,

Time for an easy week I say!


Thursday, 13 November 2008

November miles in BC

A long third training phase is finally coming to a close here in Vancouver and I can feel my easy week creeping up on me once again. Been a tough three weeks with over 70 hours of work in, last week being my toughest at just over 25 hours. Lots of long rides, fast pool work and distance runs have made dodging the injuries a challenge but looks like I'll be coming out of another hard phase with no pains to report once again ... all smiles!

Last week had just under 400km on the bike, 60km running and a little over 25km in the pool. A relaxing few days in Whistler to clear the lingering fatigue on Monday and Tuesday then back to Vancouver for another hard couple of days before my last midterm tomorrow.

Really encouraged with my running these last few months, it was only April when I was dying of shin splits and running about 10km a week, even through worlds and the rest of the summer i was rarely managing over 20km a week. Great to get out and put in some distance ... something I never thought I'd enjoy. Bike wise I've been loving the miles for a long time now, there is something fundamentally enjoyable about just driving through the long, rainy miles on a least I love it! And swimming is swimming, always have and always will love my time in the pool ... except 15x400m's...never loved that.

Team mate and friend Fraser Cartmell raced last weekend at the 70.3 World Championships coming in an awesome 10th, out of the water in 3rd in what I think was about a 22minute swim...which is crazy. I watched online and was inspiring to watch, beating some of the top Pro's in the world just confirms he IS one of the top Pro's in the world.

Before I go to bed...almost 8 (triathletes don't party....on week nights anyway)...I'll share the core workout from hell I did last night. I know people are always convinced their core workout is the hardest but this set off the back of 3 hours of training yesterday and over 35 hours in the previous 9 days was Seriously tough...

Front Plank
Left Plank
Right Plank
Front Plank
Left Plank
Right Plank
Tricep Dips
Jump Squats
Russian Twists
Wall Sits

Twice through as 90 seconds on 30 seconds off.

Killed me...think I even cried "why do I do this" half way through, that's always a great sign you're working hard.

The answer to the above question is easy for me, as long as it stays an easy answer I'll be doing this for a long time to come...something I honestly hope I can do.

"Why do I do this?"

Simply put, I love the challenge


Sunday, 2 November 2008


I was going to wait until the end of the day to write a post but I couldn't hold it in.

Have a big 4 hour + ride starting at 2 so was going to reflect on that along with the week past but I couldn't wait any longer...

Just finished watching Great Britain's Lewis Hamilton win the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship in ultimate style. It was without doubt the most nail biting sporting finish I have EVER seen and easily the best sporting moment I have been witness to.

He kept his cool throughout the whole race staying in position to win the championship until the final 5 laps when rain started and he slipped to 6th (needing 5th to win). It wasn't until the final corner where he managed to pass the Toyota in 5th (who had lost 18 seconds in the final lap) to clinch the title, saying after the race he didn't know whether he had won until about 5 seconds after he had crossed the line.

His journey to his world title has been 20 years coming and he deserves it more than anyone out there, I hope he enjoys the feeling!

I wrote a similar post after watching Michael Phelps clinch his 8 golds in Beijing earlier this year and I feel exactly the same way now, seeing athletes achieve their lifelong and almost impossible goals is one of the most raw inspirational things out there. There are no other ways to describe the feeling other than pure inspiration. To keep your head when others are losing theirs, to not lay down when distaster strikes and most importantly to never ever ever give up no matter what the situation, no matter what late hour in the race it may be, to keep pushing at 100% until the very end will win you your world championship one day. It may not be tomorrow, or next year but you'll get there and once you do you'll be able to celebrate that for the rest of your life.

Here is a quote I read last week;

"FAIL, it's not in my dictionary. I've got a good dictionary up there and the words "fail" and "failure" have been ruled out for years. I don't know what people who use those words are talking about. All i know is "tempoary non-success", even if I've got to wait another 20 years for what I'm after, this applies to everything and everyone no matter what their goal is in life."

I have this written above my desk in my room, so with that in mind I'm going to kit up, get my bike ready and head on out to climb a mountain,